New statues restored at Stanley Park

Statues are installed in Stanley Park after being vandalised last year.
Statues are installed in Stanley Park after being vandalised last year.
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A Blackpool beauty spot has been restored to its former glory following the arrival of four new statues representing the seasons.

The sculptures have been installed in the Italian Gardens at Stanley Park to replace artwork which was targetted by lead thieves.

Council heritage chiefs bought the new granite statues second hand from a reclamation yard, and have used forensic marking to protect them from future risk.

They have been paid for out of an insurance claim.

Coun Graham Cain, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for tourism and leisure, said: “Like everybody else I was disgusted when I found out that the original statues had been stolen.

“They didn’t just take a few pieces of art, they stole from the community.

“Ever since that night we’ve been keen to replace the statues with something of the same quality and that was in keeping with the tone of the park.

“Finding one statue good enough was difficult, so to find four was especially tough and took quite a lot of searching.

“Eventually though we have found this collection of pieces and I think they’ll fit in with the park perfectly.

“They’re a good reminder that people can enjoy the park all year round and I think they will be a perfect addition to the park’s heritage attraction.”

There was anger when the original statues, which had been in place since 1926, were stolen in 2011 for their scrap metal value.

Elaine Smith, chairman of the Friends of Stanley Park, said: “The Friends’ group was very distressed when the statues were vandalised so we are delighted that they are being replaced.

“I was very impressed when I saw them and I am sure the public will be too.”

The new statues are being fixed to newly renovated plinths and each one will be marked with SelectaDNA advanced forensic marking which can be used to uniquely mark and trace both items of property and criminals.

The statues are around five feet tall, similar in size, colour and sculptural style to the old pieces, and are hand carved from a single block of stone.

Spring is shown with profuse flowers to represent blossoming, summer holds wheat to illustrate the wheat harvest, autumn sybmolises fruits ripening and winter is shown without produce and striving to stay warm.